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Matt See 03-10-2009 05:09 PM

The Avengers
The Avengers ran between 1961 and 1969 and was created by Sydney Newman who also created Doctor Who.

The most common image people would have of The Avengers is that John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and Emma Peel (Diana Rigg). After all it is these two characters as played by Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman that was in the 1998 movie version.

However Emma Peel did not come on The Avengers until season 4 and while John Steed had been on the series from the beginning, Patrick Macnee was not the original lead of the show.

The original lead of the show was instead Ian Hendry who played Dr David Keel. Hendry was only on The Avengers for the first season. When production of the first season was cut short by an Equity strike, Ian Hendry had decided to quit to pursue a film career and Patrick Macnee took over the lead of the show from the second season.

Like fellow Sydney Newman creation Doctor Who and other shows of its time, The Avengers had episodes that has been wiped out. Badly affected by this purge is almost all of the Hendry season, with only two complete episodes in existence. Also in existence from the first season is what is left of the first episode Hot Snow. What is left of Hot Snow is Act One (the first 15 minutes of the episode):

Act One of Hot Snow sets up an intriguing beginning to The Avengers. Unfortunately, apart from his image in the title sequence, Act One does not include Patrick Macnee as Steed.

Ian Hendry would eventually return to the world of The Avengers in The New Avengers episode To Catch A Rat in 1976 but as a different character.

Matt See 07-01-2010 01:08 PM

The White Dwarf:
Season 2, Episode 21.
Pretty good episode from Malcolm Hulke involving a prediction made by an astronomer predicting that the entry to the solar system of a small star could result in Earth's destruction.
As commented on, The White Dwarf is certainly more enjoyable than Hollywood movies that looked into this subject like Armageddon & Deep Impact.

Matt See 04-02-2010 05:04 PM

There is a reference to The Avengers in the Doctor Who novel To The Slaughter. In a description of a female character, author Stephen Cole wrote:
"Like a size 20 Cathy Gale she high-kicked and jabbed her way through the rabid crowd".

Matt See 08-02-2010 06:28 PM

Death of a Batman:
Season 3, Episode 5.
Rather a confusing episode.
Cathy being undercover as a secretary was the only thing I enjoyed about it.

Matt See 09-03-2010 04:11 PM

Season 3, Episode 18.
Pretty good episode in which the recent death of a former colleague of Steed may have been the result of foul play.
Highlight of the episode is when Cathy had a fight with Sexton in the cemetery!

Matt See 04-04-2010 08:12 AM

Castle De'ath:
Season 4, Episode 5.
An Emma Peel episode.
De'ath is the name of a Scottish clan and it sees Steed and Emma investigate the clan's castle.
Playing the laird is Gordon Jackson which is basically like the opposite to his role as Hudson the butler in Upstairs, Downstairs.
Pretty good mystery involving ghosts, torture chambers and submarine bays.

Matt See 13-05-2010 08:06 AM

Whoever Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40?:
Season 7, Episode 6.
A Tara King episode.
That is quite a title for an episode.
George of the title refers to a robot who gets shot and injured for vital information that he possesses. Quite silly the concern shown to George's welfare as he was a real human being.
A pretty good episode for Tara especially when she pretends to be an American and I did not see it coming on who the chief villain was here.

Matt See 25-05-2010 09:55 AM

Legacy of Death:
Season 7, Episode 9.
Written by Terry Nation and also noticed that he was the script editor.
Quite notable that the episode's name when presented on-screen is accompanied by the Chinese subtitle.
When Steed inherits a dagger every interested party is after him as the dagger is the key to a buried treasure.
The plot seems akin to the movie It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World as it is a jolly good fun episode. However the water torture scene on Tara was a bit disturbing to look at.
The episode guest starred Richard Hurndall and although Hurndall never appeared in a Doctor Who story by Legacy of Death writer Terry Nation he did however encounter a Dalek, created by Terry Nation, in his one-off as the First Doctor in The Five Doctors.

Matt See 07-06-2010 05:56 AM

Look - (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers...
Season 7, Episode 11.
Written by Dennis Spooner.
Guest starred John Cleese and Bernard Cribbins.
Very very fun episode involving killer clowns.

Matt See 10-06-2010 08:02 PM

Penultimate episode of the series.
Enemy agents have escaped from a high security prison and carrying out their assignments in assassinating their targets which include Steed.
The methods of their escape I have to say is very implausible.
Playing Steed's would-be assassin is Peter Bowles and he and Patrick Macnee play off well against each other.
The high security prison is disguised as a monastery and one of the fake monks was played by Michael Culver. Three decades later he played a real monk in the TV series Cadfael.

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